It's Good News. Pass it On!
On July 1, we celebrate for the last time the feast of "Blessed" Junipero Serra (1713-1784), the great missionary of California. That's because Pope Francis, during his visit to the United States in September, will canonize Junipero Serra, thereby officially recognizing him as a a saint.
Renowned for his zeal to evangelize, his heavy mortification and penances, and the many missions he founded up and down the California coast, Blessed Junipero poured himself out, serving Jesus and his Church to the very best of his knowledge and abilities, bearing fruit that has lasted to the present day in the Catholic communities on the west coast.
Though some of the methods used at the missions are controversial and many would certainly not be used by modern day missionaries, still Blessed Junipero was impelled by love of God and neighbor to act in the very best way he knew how, in order to pursue the highest of goods for those placed in his care: Catholic faith and the living communion with the Most Blessed Trinity that it allows, as Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, explains in The 'One Thing' is Three.
We are all called to evangelize, to have that same zeal for the salvation of souls, serving God and our neighbor in the best ways we know how, especially by proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for there is no greater good than life eternal with God.
So let us ask the intercession of Blessed Junipero Serra, that the Holy Spirit may set our hearts afire with love of God and neighbor, impelling us to evangelize and share the pearl of great price, the treasure we have found in the fields of this world: our Catholic faith.